Ira Edward Bailey was born January 15, 1916 at Royal, Nebraska. He died July 14, 2012 at Gordon Countryside Care at the age of 96.
Ira was the second of four children born to Robert John and Gertrude Laura (Clyde) Bailey. The family moved to Sheridan County where he completed the 10th grade at Banner School southeast of Hay Springs. He roamed around some before settling down. Ira met the love of his life, Orabelle Goochey, at a dance in Bassett, Nebraska, and on October 24, 1939 they were united in marriage in Ainsworth, Nebraska. To this union were born one daughter and two sons.
Ira loved life and all it offered. He loved baseball and talked about games he played in between Banner and Sandridge schools. He also loved riding horses and watching rodeos, (having his own from time to time in his younger years). He loved to dance and he taught himself to play the harmonica and would play for dances as well. He would get it out every now and then and play it for the family. He was very good at it and everyone enjoyed listening to him, begging for more when he said he was out of wind. He would always play at least one more. Of all the things he loved, family and friends were number 1. He enjoyed all ages from running around the house with toddlers to playing cards all night with anyone that would be able to keep up with him. All he needed was the ace and deuce to “shoot the moon”! Another favorite game was pitching horseshoes and was near unbeatable at it.
Farming was Ira's main occupation, working well into his eighties before retiring. He then made a hobby out of clocks, taking clockworks out of their original case and fitting them into automobile hubcaps he had acquired over the years. They turned out really nice. He always kept himself busy tinkering with something. Some of his other occupations were being maintenance man for the Gordon Villa and the Gordon Good Samaritan as well as working for the City of Gordon on the garbage pick up route. He enjoyed all that he did but always went back to farming. In 1968 he purchased some acreage just outside of Gordon where he resided until entering Gordon Countryside Care on April 17, 2007, living there until his death. He liked the joking and the pranks the employees and staff gave him just as much as he did dishing it out to them.
Ira was preceded in death by his mother and father; his wife Orabelle; daughter Leora Collins (Harvey); brother William and sister Lillian Zillinger (Alvin).
Survivors include his two sons, Rodney Bailey and Royce Bailey, both of Gordon, NE; one sister Violet Powell (Leon) of Columbiana, AL, 11 grandchildren, Donna Schnackenburg (Matthew) of Gothenburg, NE, Steven Collins (Wendy) of Gothenburg, NE, Janice Walker (Charles) of Gothenburg, NE, Donald Bailey (Rita) of San Antonio, TX, Rhonda Stevens (Errol) of New Bruansfels, TX, Tina Anderson (Gregg) of Corning, CA, Renee Terra (Richard) of New Plymouth, ID, Angela Witt (Dean) of Rushville, NE, Charla Bailey of Grand Island, NE, Trisha DeWitt (Casey) of Box Elder, SD, and Weston Bailey (Tammy) of Gordon, NE, 22 great-grandchildren, 7 great-great-grandchildren, 6 nephews and 5 nieces.
Funeral services were held on Friday, July 20, 2012, 10:00am at the Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home with Reverend Debra Kromis officiating. Burial was in the Gordon Cemetery.
The family suggest memorial donations to the Gordon Countryside Care and donations may be sent to Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home, PO Box 366 Gordon, NE 69343.